Cooking a whole chicken may not feel like “weeknight cooking” but it really is so effortless and it makes cooking for a group very easy. It needs time in the oven, but not much work beyond that. Give it a try.
One whole chicken
1 T. avocado oil (you can also use olive oil)
One lemon, cut into quarters
A handful of parsley (about 1/4 C.)
4 sprigs of thyme
One leek, greens trimmed, and sliced in half lenthwise
1 C. chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
1 T. butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Clean the chicken under cool water, soaking it for a few minutes in salt water and then rinsing thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towels and put on a rack in a roasting dish (you can also jury-rig a rack by coiling aluminum foil and placing it under the bird so that its elevated from the bottom of the pan. The goal is to get air circulating all around the chicken during roasting.)
Rub the chicken with the oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper (also salt and pepper the inside of the bird.) Stuff the bird’s cavity with 2 lemon quarters, half of the parsley and 2 sprigs of thyme.
Put the halved leek and remaining parsley, thyme and lemon in the pan around the chicken and add the chicken broth. The broth should cover the entire bottom of the pan and be about 1/8-1/4″ high, but not touching the bird. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to add more or less than 1 C.
Place it in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes. Baste the chicken with the pan juices and return it to the oven. Lower the heat to 325 and cook it for an additional 25 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and check the temperature. You will likely need to cook it for an additional 5-10 minutes but check it to be sure. Baste it again and at this point, you’ll also want to add the asparagus and butter to the pan for the final 5-10 minutes of cooking. When you take the take temperature, do it near the thigh at the thickest part of the chicken and remove the chicken from the oven when it reaches around 155 degrees. Note: If the chicken is not browned to your liking, you can switch the oven to broil and very carefully let it sear for a few seconds. Once you remove the chicken from the oven, let it rest on a rack for 5-10 minutes; it will continue cooking to the desired 165 degrees from its own heat once you remove it from the oven.
Dinner is served!